U.N. agency seeks flight-tracking solution after Malaysia jet loss

Mon May 12, 2014 7:40am EDT
 
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* Aviation agency begins two-day meeting on flight tracking

* EU says it is "unthinkable" that a flight can disappear

* Talks to address tracking but not transmission of black-box data

By Allison Martell

MONTREAL, May 12 (Reuters) - United Nations aviation officials gathered in Canada on Monday to discuss better tracking of aircraft in the highest-level response yet to safety concerns raised by the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March.

Regulators have been discussing since 2010 how to improve communications with passenger jets over oceans and remote areas after an Air France plane crashed into the Atlantic a year earlier, but they have so far failed to agree on a co-ordinated international approach to the problem.

However, worldwide alarm at the failure to find MH370 in more than two months since it vanished en route to Beijing has pushed the issue to the top of the aviation agenda.

"For the general public it has become unthinkable that a flight can simply disappear," the European Union said in a paper presented in advance of the two-day talks in Montreal.

"An aircraft should be permanently tracked, even beyond radar coverage, and in case of an accident it should be immediately located," the paper said.   Continued...